Top Toddler Fears—and How to Conquer Them!
Learn what tops the list of the scariest stuff for young children and how you can use playtime to conquer those worries
Why kids fear it: Young toddlers look to you for signals of what is dangerous in their environment. Your messages of fear help them determine what to avoid and what is safe. You may think your child doesn’t notice when you jump away from that hairy spider, but she sure is paying attention.
Your toddler’s looking to you for cues about what is safe is a normative and healthy part of her survival (sometimes called social referencing). But during this time, she could pick up on fears that you don’t want to pass along!
What parents can do: Knowing that young toddlers really are paying attention, think about which fears you have that kids may pick up on. Your partner can play a role in making sure that your child does not develop the same fear, especially if you are not quite sure you want to take that on. Again, play can be a great way for kids to be exposed to a lot of different situations in a very controlled way.
Remember, depending on where you live, it may be good for toddlers to have caution around live spiders, which may pose a danger to your little one.
What not to do: Don’t assume that your fears will be helpful for your toddler. Think about the top three and see if they make sense in terms of your toddler’s safety. And don’t be too hard on yourself!
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